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OTC Markets Group Celebrates the Passing of ESOP Fairness Act Legislation

NEW YORK, March 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM), operator of regulated markets for 12,000 U.S. and international securities, celebrates the ESOP Fairness Act (S.3270) (H.R.5851), which was included in the SECURE Act 2.0 retirement package that was signed into law on December 29, 2022. We thank the lead sponsors Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) who advocated for the inclusion of this important provision, along with Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16), Linda Sánchez (D-CA-38), Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2), Darin LaHood (R-IL-18) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9).

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOPs”) are benefit plans recognized under IRS regulations that allow companies to offer stock ownership to their employees in a tax-efficient manner. Section 123 of the SECURE Act 2.0 will allow qualifying companies trading on the OTCQX Best Market and OTCQB Venture Market to offer ESOPs to their employees under the same rules as exchange-traded companies. With approximately 800 OTCQX and OTCQB companies meeting the criteria under the ESOP Fairness Act, the OTC Markets Group team played an active role in advocating for this legislation on behalf of these companies and their many employees.

ESOPs allow employees to participate in the economic performance of a company and can provide numerous, well-documented benefits – notably, they enable employees to substantially increase their assets and can help reduce gender and racial wealth gaps.

“Modernizing existing ESOP law to include an updated definition of an ‘established securities market’ will allow qualifying companies, including those traded on the OTCQX Market, to invest in their employees and their long-term growth,” said Dan Zinn, General Counsel and Chief of Staff for OTC Markets Group. "The ESOP Fairness Act will make ESOPs more effective for hundreds of community banks and other small companies, and will benefit their many employees across the country. We thank all of the bill’s sponsors for their thoughtful legislation on such a meaningful issue.”

“Congress should do more to promote stakeholder capitalism, and employee stock ownership plans like those promoted in the ESOP Fairness Act are a tool that help ground corporations in the community,” said Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26). “I was proud to see it signed into law by President Joe Biden last year after years of bipartisan hard work and effort.”

About OTC Markets Group Inc
OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) operates regulated markets for trading 12,000 U.S. and international securities. Our data-driven disclosure standards form the foundation of our three public markets: OTCQX® Best Market, OTCQB® Venture Market and Pink® Open Market. Our OTC Link® Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs) provide critical market infrastructure that broker-dealers rely on to facilitate trading. Our innovative model offers companies more efficient access to the U.S. financial markets.

OTC Link ATS, OTC Link ECN and OTC Link NQB are each an SEC regulated ATS, operated by OTC Link LLC, a FINRA and SEC registered broker-dealer, member SIPC.

To learn more about how we create better informed and more efficient markets, visit

Media Contact:
OTC Markets Group Inc.
+1 (212) 896-4428

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